Published: Sun, July 22, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

May accused of 'picking a fight' with Ireland and European Union over Brexit

May accused of 'picking a fight' with Ireland and European Union over Brexit

"It is a matter of frustration and regret that after enjoying the longest period of unbroken devolved government since the 1960s, Northern Ireland has now been without a fully functioning executive for over 18 months", she said.

A hardline stance by the British government on the financial settlement could complicate progress, with Raab insisting on the link with the bill and a future agreement.

The influential European Research Group of pro-Brexit Tory MPs, led by Mogg, have threatened to trigger a no confidence motion in Mrs May if she doesn't carry out the result of the referendum.

She also appeared to respond to Johnson who reiterated in his resignation speech earlier this week that "technical solutions to make customs and regulatory checks remotely" existed.

"The only thing that could replace this current form of a backstop is, No 1 something which is better; No 2 something which is agreed and No 3 something that would be legally operable", Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe told RTE radio.

He said Ireland will not agree to anything that can be seen to undermine its participation in the single market or the economic integrity of the EU.

"During a two-and-a-half-hour discussion, we outlined the need for a sensible exit from the European Union as well as the need for Ministerial decision-making in Northern Ireland".

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The border backstop would effectively see Northern Ireland remain within the single market and customs union post-Brexit.

Mrs May then presented a pragmatically pro-Union case for Northern Ireland remaining part of the United Kingdom, highlighting the Province as a "TV and cinema powerhouse", somewhere which attracts more than two million tourists a year, "great" universities and "a burgeoning cyber-security sector".

"This requires, in particular, a legally operative backstop, an all-weather insurance policy to address the issue of Ireland and Northern Ireland", Barnier said.

The Prime Minister attempted to deny these criticisms at a press conference in Northern Ireland on Friday, but just hours later Barnier - perhaps unintentionally - completely undermined her, telling reporters that one the "very positive" aspects of Chequers is that guarantees "the role to be played the ECJ as sole arbiter".

However, during her visit to Belfast, Mrs May will reiterate that a hard border is not acceptable.

He said the European Union had always been "creative and flexible" in its approach to negotiations. "I think when we get to the autumn, if we are in the situation where we don't have any degree of agreement, we're going to have to start again".

He also insisted that the responsibility for resolving any outstanding issues rested with the British, since they were the ones who chose to leave - and that they would have to be resolved probably by December, as the process of ratifying any withdrawal agreement in the European Council, European Parliament, and British Parliament would not allow for negotiations to carry on to March 2019, when Brexit is supposed to happen - on paper, at least. "But, at the same time, we need a solution that protects our borders and our consumers".

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